A sustainable waterborne conductive primer & adhesion promoter for TPO enhanced with graphene nanotubes has been developed.
- A new light-grey primer provides stable surface resistivity, strongly improving the adhesion between primer and base/clear coat on TPO car parts.
- A colloidal suspension of powder in water can be sprayed with standard liquid equipment devices while performing like a powder coating.
- Highly sustainable primer shows potential for application in automobile and wood industries, enabling zero emission of VOC, producing zero HAP and no halogens.
When powder coating is applied on surfaces other than classical metal substrates, a challenge rises. The low surface electrical resistivity of the thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) used for automotive fascia, dashboards, cup holders, door coverings, and roofing material must be modified with conductive adhesion promoters to improve electrostatic coating efficiency. Usually, carbon black or metal dust are used to enable conductivity in primers. However, they negatively affect the paint’s basic properties and limit the range of available colors.
A solution has been proposed by Clear Skies Coatings, a leading US manufacturer and supplier of premium paint coatings to the automotive industry. The company offers an advanced conductive primer and adhesion promoter for TPO substrate: a colloidal suspension of powder in water enhanced with TUBALL™ COAT_E H2O 0.4%, a water-based dispersion of graphene nanotubes that is commercially available from OCSiAl.
David Detzler, Clear Skies Coatings President, explains: “Our Ad-Pro Zero patented formulation is made of a chemistry for powder coat. It is a conductive, sustainable, and durable gray-colored coating that combines the benefits of the traditional liquid adhesion promoters and conductive primer with the performance of powder coatings. It enables an easy and clean application on temperature-sensitive materials such as TPO and wood. The automotive sector is highly sensitive to this combination of benefits; our new solution is being assessed by TIER-1 in the US.”
Containing less than 0.05 wt.% of graphene nanotubes, Ad-Pro Zero features a gray color and can be coated with a thickness as low as 0.3 mil while achieving a surface resistivity <105 ohm/sq. Applied on thermoplastic car parts, the new product strongly improves the adhesion of the clear coat, making possible to reducing its thickness, and enables a wide spectrum of color shades.
“This new coating with our graphene nanotubes is a revolutionary promoter for TPO-based car parts that has high performance, zero emissions of volatile organic compounds, zero hazardous air pollutants, and no halogens. For after-market facias, this powder slurry can be used as an ad-pro at about 6 to 8 microns,” said Ian Fellows, CEO, OCSiAl USA.
The new graphene nanotube solution has enormous potential in the automobile and wood industries, which will benefit from the increased cost efficiency, long-lasting performance, and the ability to eliminate harmful emissions.
Headquartered in Luxembourg, OCSiAl is the world’s largest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes, also known as single wall carbon nanotubes. It employs more than 450 people worldwide in locations including the United States, Europe, China, India, Japan, and South Korea.
Founded in 2011 in the USA by David Detzler, CLEAR SKIES COATINGS is headquartered in Macomb Township, Michigan. David spent over 30 years in the US coatings industry and worked at Chrysler, Nippon Paints, and AkzoNobel. Clear Skies Coatings is dedicated to research, formulations, and production of automotive coatings. The company is owned by Helios Coatings Inc. (www.helioscoatingsinc.com) located in Canton, Ohio, which provides Clear Skies Coatings with additional production capacities.